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The Assassination 

of 
Abraham Lincoln 






Locomotives and Train Crews 



Excerpts from newspapers and other 

sources 



From the files of the 
Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection 



•n\ zmq o*s:o?n?s~~ 




Cincinnati, Hamilton k Dayton 

DAYTON & MICHIGAN RAILROADS. 



TO ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES. 



The Funeral Ceremonies of the late President of the United 
States, will take place in the City of Washington, on Wednesday, 
the 19th inst., at 12 o'clock, noon. *$ 

As there will be services held throughout the [Country in the 
different churches on the day and at the time above mentioned, 
I invite the attendance to said service, at such church as they 
may select, of all the employees of these Roads; whose duties 
will permit. The Company hereby allows the proper time for 
such attendance. 

This circular is not to be understood so as to interfere with 
the running of the several trains. 

GEN'L SUPERINTENDENT'S OFFICE, > \ D. McLA^EN, 

Cincinnati, 0., April 18th, 1865. S j »en'l Supt. 



J 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Friends of The Lincoln Collection of Indiana, Inc. 



http://archive.org/details/assassinationofaloclinc 









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that a humble 
1 fwent singing 



An exchange says 
boy with aiahiuiugpa 
gaily down the vale, t^jwhero a pow 
with a brintllu rail, dii jthe alfaJJaMiJl 
regale.- A bumblebee icIM gailj' sail, 
over the soft and. shady!;v;ak\ to where 
the boy with a sbiiningjijail, wasjmilk- 
iug the row with a bri,i 
beo lit dowri on the c6w 
feet lleW up thriughiiUL 
and thfough jthe leave?) j o!f fc 
tree, the loy! soared into 



PEAT 



HO»F 



EDWARD WILCOX. 



tile tail. ; .The 
s left eni*,i her 
a atmosphere, 
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qtcrnltyt; 



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Michigan C 



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home df Mr. land 



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visit with W.r. 
3on in this city 
Fred Hausheer 
3d the i 'Ames 



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pity 



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it luncheon to^a^ r by 

rison, at her 
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An exchange salys that 
nake a town grow ' intoj 
)tbcrs with ^ood locations 
;agek, is because 'in one 
uen of pusji anjd energy 



xfraid td spend their 
:o improve the town. 



ijlostellcjr, of 
Louisa Mc- 
ijsiU;ig]at tho 
|Nordytc,'at 



Mrs. IB dill 

a| few I dplys tlhey will 

arid tW.ffilj Wrbl Iftcker- 

E<J Shcafer and 

of jthe city band, assist- 

Uuion ' bii: d, Michigan 

an oxcnrsion to 

da^ 4 i.|.| r :hekichigau 

whoj are istobping at the 

grounds, wcr3 entertained 



Frank M6r- 
Waverly 



the Way to 

i city |. while 

remain vil- 

$ase thete are 

who are not 



tirxlje and money 



hDh 



erect sub- 



stantial buildings; organasjb stock com- 



Another \Vcl\ Knoivu ( Itlzcu Called 

to rljliat I5on:e Beyond* 

| j 

Mr. Edwliid Wilcox, one of Aiich- 

isra'n Citvt'ai oldest anil best known 

citizens, died at his home, No. 118 

■ ■ I j . 

wefct Eighth street,! last night at 11:15 

o'clock, Oi spinal trouble. Mr. Wilcox 

is the lasjt of a family of eleven chil- 

drcnand was born in Stockbridge, 

Miiss , in 1832, -Ho came to kichigan 

City in 18>GJ, being i an engineer on tho 

Michigan Central railroad from that 

to| his recent, illness. !Mr. 



e up 






Abtianam 
Chicfigo 



Wilcox wfa$| the engineer of the train 



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t hat eonvtykl the remains of Presirtcn t 



Lincol n , fro m this ,jcity_tp^ 

He was married in: this city 

inillSi, t!o Mi'ss Harriet! A. De draff, 
who Eiirvi'ves him. !• .'•; ! ■•! .' >' 

Tue depeased leaves jthree children, 
Mrs '.George Culborr, i Mrs. Wj C. 
Fargher and Geo.iwl U ilcox, all of 
thisljity. I ' i ! 

Tneriuper'al services will be held 

< 1 ! f ' . j r 

Friday afternoon at 3 ; ;d"clock frpm the 

family residence, Key.! VV. F. Switzer 
officiating!, ■■■ -i , 



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JDcatU of MifsJ George JLcscr. ; 
. i Theresa, Leser, wife of George Loser, 
died at Her late home, 1220 Elston 
streetij at 1 6:45 o!clock .this morning, 
l^eathi was causdd from cancer with 
Whicnshej had been afllicted for the 
past two years. 



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The Colunibian 

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give a.spientJilic b 

entertainment] in th« 

on Wedresdajy, Au 

the first of a seric 

which the clbb wi 

win^r, Tho best 

west Will appear in i 

Persons who/will » 

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kid Frank Q^oal, I 
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boxer of Illinois;^! ! 



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boxer, cf Chicago 
scientific nonpareil c> 
Buijchard, champion 
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oreiz, champ on cBu 
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pion,' sword, bayo; 
swinger of Indiana. 

The boys are spn 
make tho affair a s 
cro(wd is ilreaidy^assu 



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THE LINCOLN TRAIN. 



A Story From the Conductor of 
the Train that -Carried Presi- 
dent Lincoln's Body From 
Baltimore to Harrisburg. 



Washington has been, and is, the 
home of many men and women who 
have had a part in the historical 
events of moment in this country. 
Many times we have heard the story 
from those who were in various ca- 
pacities associated with President Lin- 
coln, but I cannot recall that 1 ever 
saw or heard a detailed account from 
any one connected with the funeral 
train that carried President Lincoln's 
body to its final resting place in 
Illinois. 

Living here in Washington is the 
man who was conductor on the train 
that carried President Lincoln's body 
from Baltimore, Md., to Harrisburg, 
Pa. He . was christened "William 
Henry Harrison Gould," and he say3 
his conduct, has been such that he 
has never found occasion to change 
his name. Several years ago he re- 
tired from active service on the rail- 
road, but he is still active, optimistic, 
and will not admit that he s over 32 
years old, which is really not half his 
age. 

He is one of those ante-belleum fel- 
lows, who saw service on the rail- 
road when engines were given stately 
names instead of lowly numbers, 
burned wood, instead of coal, and 
when fuel was needed would stop at 
the first wood pile sighted and replen- 
ish. 

His forefathers came from Toppes- 
feld, England, with John Cabot in 
1638, and landed at Salem, Mass., 
finally settling 10 miles west of Sa- 
lem in' Essex County, at a place named 
by the Indians, "She-we-ne-mede," 
meaning new meadows. The Goulds 
did not fancy the Indian name and re- 
named it "Topsheld," and the town 
continues to this day. 

William Henry Harrison Gould was 
born on the old Gould homestead at 
Topsfield, and spent the early years 
of his life, there. When neariiig his 
majority the roving bug hit him and 
he started out to see the world and 
make his fortune. 

Railroading seemed the most fasci- 
nating and exciting to him. and early 
in 18G2 he obtained a positon as a 
brakeman with the Northern Central 
Railway, which is now a. part of the 
great Pennsylvania Railroad System. 
Promotion was rapid in those days, 
and in four months time young Gould 
was promoted to brakeman oh a pas- 
senger train. One year later he was 
promoted to baggage master on tiie 
road, and in another year was pro- 
moted to conductor of a passenger 
train running from Baltimore, Md., 
to Harrisburg, Pa., with his headquar- 



ters at Baltimore. 

"On the evening of April 14, 1865, 
the date President Lincoln was shot," 
said Conductor Gould, "I had finished 
my round trip and was tired and \\ ent 
to bed early. The morning of the 
15th of April I walked over to the 
Calvert Street Railway Station, Balti- 
more, arriving there about 7. a. m. 
When I reached the rear entrance to 
the station I noticed that all traffic 
on the railroad was ae a standstill. I 
asked the gateman, Simon Goldstein, 
why no trains were running. He said: 

" 'Mine Gott, don' you hear de 
news?' 

" 'No,' I said. 'What is the news?' 

" 'Lincoln was kilt last night,' said 
Goldstein, 'and Stanton is kilt, and 
everybody Is kilt, and you done it, git 
out of here.' 

"I did get out and began to observe 
what was going on. The station was 
crowded with soldiers; they had taken 
charge of it. People were allowed to 
go into the station but no one was al- 
lowed to leave. About noon an order 
was received from Washington to re- 
lease the people, who numbered sev- 
eral hundred. In the afternoon trains 
began to run again. 

"After Goldsteih had accused me of 
being guilty of the death of Lincoln 
and others I began to study about the 
matter and thought I had better go 
home. To learn of the murder of 
President Lincoln very much de- 
pressed me, and to be accused of it 
; made me feel much worse. I went 
, home and lay down on the bed. I told 
j my wife if any one called for me to 
j tell them I was out. After I had 
I rested for about half an hour I be- 
! gan to feel better and went out on 
the street. Noticing many buildings 
and flags draped in black, I went 
home and hung out my flag, draped 
in black. By this time I felt normal 
and had a mind to go and see Gold- 
stein and tell him what I thought, but 
reconsidered. 

"Conductors in those days took 
their regular turn, and it just so 
happened that on the morning of 
April 21, 1865, I was next out About 
12:30 p. m. I was notified by the sta- 
tion master that I was to act as con- 
ductor on the special train that was 
to carry President Lincoln's body 
from Baltimore to Harrisburg. At 
the time I gave no special importance 
to this run. but since then I have 
been exceedingly gratified that 1 had 
it. The car in which President Lin- 
coln's body was carried was built by 
a Mr. Lamson at Alexandria, Ya. It 
was built on the lines of our present- 
day parlor cars, but much less elab- . 
orate. The outside of the car was ' 
painted dark brown, and [he inside 
was varnished, showing the grain of 
the wood. There were no fixed seats 
in the car, but there were several easy 
chairs. 

"The train was made up of an en- 
gine that burned coal, one baggage 
car, seven first-class passenger cars, 
and in the rear was the funeral car. 
The train was equipped with hand 
brakes. In the baggage car we car- 
ried the remains of William Wallace i 
Lincoln, the 12-year-old sun of the J 
President, who died in February, I 
1S62, and had been buried in a cem- 
eterv at Georgetown. 



"In the train crew was the engineer, 
two firemen, one baggage man, two 
brakemen. one conductor and myself. 
So far as I know, I am the only living 
member of that crew, and 50 years 
time has erased all their names from 
my memory. Capt. George W. Ham- 
bright had general supervision of the 
pilot train and funeral train. The en- 
gine and cars of the train were 
decked m the habiliments of mourn- 
ing. 

"The coffin in which President Lin- 
coln's body lay resteu on three tres- 
tles securely fastened to the floor of 
the car. Over these was crepe. Straps 
were fastened to the trestles and 
buckled around the coffin to hold it 
secure. The. coffin was very large and 
appeared to be about seven feet long 
and fully three feet wide. It was cov- 
ered with black cloth, and, besides the 
four silver handles <>n either side, 
there was considerable silver decora- 
' U«ns m ioi in of wreaths. On the lid 
of the coffin was an engraved silver 
plate, which read: 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 

16th President of the United States. 

Born Feb. 12, 1809. 

Died April 15, 1865. 

"I was in the funeral car at various 
times in my line of duty. A part of 
the time the face lid was removed 
from the coffin, and I had several op- 
portunities of seeing the face of the 
martyred President. His face was 
calm and peaceful. He looked as if 
he were asleep in pleasant dreams. 
The body was dressed in black, with 
white shut and black tie. I was in- 
formed that the suit he had on was 
the suit he wore at his first inaugu- 
ration. 

"None of the train crew were in 
uniform — in fact, in those days no 
uniform was worn by passenger train 
crews. I wore a black suit of clothes 
and black hat. On the front of my 
hat I wore a plate marked 'Conduc- 
tor.' 

"There were about 75 people on ] 
the train beside the train crew. There 
were no women on the train. During 
the trip the men moved back and 
forth thru the train. They were a 
distinguished looking group of men, 
but sad and solemn. Practically all 
of their talk was of the greatness and 
goodness of Lincoln, and his untimely 
death. There were many men on the 
train who were soldiers, but none 
were in uniform. 

"Each member of the train crew, 
and all of those who were entitled to 
ride on the train, wore a special badge. 
This badge was their ticket of trans- 
portation. Of course, I was very care- 
ful to see that every person riding on 
the train was entitled to do so. 

"Ten minutes before the special 
train pulled out of Baltimore a pilot 
engine and one passenger car. in 
charge of Capt. George B. Kaufman 
and brakeman, with a crew started 
ahead of the special train for Harris- 
burg. Just at 3 o'clock on the after- 
noon of April 21. 1S65, I gave the-en- 
gineer the signal to start for Harris- 
burg. The engine gave a shrill whis- 
tle and rhe train slowly passed the 
depot. There was an immense crowd 
around the station at Baltimore to see 
the train leave, but. they were very 
quiet. 



"As we left Baltimore the weather 
was cloudy and warm. Our first stop 
out of Baltimore was Parkton, Md., 
for water. The next stop was at York, 
Pa., again for Water. These two stops 
were the only stops made between 
Baltimore and Harrisburg. 

"■yVhen the train stopped at York a 
delegation of six ladies were allowed 
to enter the funeral oar and lay a 
large wreath on the coffin. At every 
cross road there were crowds of peo- 
ple, and as the funeral train passed! 
them the men took off their hats, and ■ 
I noticed many, both men and worn- j 
en, who shed tears as the train | 
passed. It was the most solemn trip 
I ever took on a train. Everybody on 
the train was solemn and everybody 
the train passed was solemn. 

"Just at 8 o'clock the train pulled 
into Harrisburg. The sky was cloudy, 
and there was a fine dizzle of rain. It 
seemed to me that nature was weep- 
ing because of Lincoln's death. 

"After pulling into the station I re- 
mained in charge of the train until 
the President's body was taken from 
the funeral car to be taken to the 
State Capitol in Harrisburg; then I 
was relieved by the yard crew." 

Mr. Gould has always been an opti- 
mist. His mind is stored with pleas- 
ant memories of the past. He holds 
ill T"il| toward r.cne. His is a life well 
spent, and at the end there will be no 
remorse. "May he live long and 
prosper." 



Elias Tov 90 „ 
citrlTlV * ° f ^ r tr,t\ h S ^ to he 



Ph 

hf s hom 



, ew Tork 
e in Philad'eiph 



died A,," Phi,a de] 
a Augrust 22 



at 



PORTER, WILLIAM — RECALLS LINCOLN 1 S FUNERAL — MEMBER OF TRAIN CREWJ 



\ oa- ' '. 



^counts Trip 
Of Lincoln's 
Funeral Train 

Probably the last living member of 
the train crew that brought the body 
of Abraham Lincoln from Chicago to 
Spring-field, following the assassination 
of the martyred president, resides at 
Jerseyville. This man is William i^o, • 
ler, who in 1S61 enlisted in the 145th 
Illinois •infantry. He was mustered out 
of the service in the fall of the .same 
year and went to work for the Chicago 
Sc Alton as a brakeman. The day be- 
fore the funeral train was due to arrive 
a dozen brakemcn were summoned be- 
fore the assistant superintendent and 
told to get ready to go to Chicago and 
bring the funeral train through. In 
speaking of the trip recently Jlr. Por- , 
ter said: 

"J. C. McAIullen, assistant superln- 
I endent of the Chicago division, had 
charge of the train, but George Hewett, 
an old passenger man, was given the 
assignment as conductor. As I remem- 
ber it, the funeral train consisted of 
;\ baggage car, several ordinary coaches 
and the cala.fa.lquo dii- -which was the 
second car from the rear end of the 
train. The funeral car was specially 
arranged for carrying the body of the I 
president. A crack New York regiment ' 
escorted the body and performed guard ' 
duty during the entire trip from Wash- 
ington to Springfield. Four guards were 
posted in each car, two at each end and 
no one was allowed to enter the train 
without a permit. 

"The head officials of the Chicago & 
Alton took special pains to guard 
against an accident. All bridges were 
guarded and switch rails at obscure sid- 
ings were securely spiked down. All 
regular trains were ordered to take the • 
siding an hour before the special was J 
scheduled to pass. 

Lincoln Picture on Engine. 
"The two locomotives selected for the 
trip were No. 40 and No. 57. They 
were wood burners, with old-fashioned 
iialloon smoke stacks. Russian iron 
jackets, brass dome, brass sand box, 
brass bell frame, six inch brass bands 
encircling the boiler about four feet 
apart, and all brass parts nicely polish- 
ed. Henry Russell was the man at the 
ihrottlc of No. 40 and James (Jim) Cot- 
ton was the man at the throttle of No. ' 
, c >7, which served as pilot engine. Direct- I 
ly under the headlight was the picture , 
of the martyred president, don" in cray- 
on, and in a circular frame or wreath 
of flowers about five feet in diameter. 
"On the evening of May 2, the train 
was backed into the union station at 
Chicago to take the body of the dead 
president. The funeral cortege left the 
i-ourt house in Chicago at 6 o'clock. 
The hearse was drawn by six black stal- 
lions, each attended by a negro groom 
in uniform. The train left Chicago at 
7:30 o'clock and only stopped at the 
larger stations. At all stops the people 
congregated, grim visa^-ed men and wo- 
men, with tear bedimmed eyes. The 
throngs were silent. The train arrived 
in Springfield the next morning. A vast 
crowd had gathered. When the pilot 
engine arrived at the outskirts of the 
,."iry, it stopped and waited for the fun- 
i erai train. It was then coupled to the 
regular train and entrance was made to 
Springfield. It took over two hours to 
go that many miles. It was indeed a 
funeral of the people." 



•T 



J U ■•*... 



,/ n .. • 



e -A ■,; P® ters °n. u '' Chicago, lormern 
of Dekalb, sends a picture of Frank 
H. Pond, who was fireman on the 
train that carried Lincoln from 
Cleveland to Erie in 1861. As the 
same crew was chosen to brin- Fin- 
coin s body back, and as the engineer 
bad m the mean time died, h e , V a< 
engineer of the train that brought 
Lincoln's body from Erie to Cleve- 
land, 1865. A picture of the engine, 

-i ne Reindeer,' 1 was also enclosed. 



V 



c 



/ More About Lincoln's Funeral Train 

To the Editor: " Brooklin ' : . Mass. 

Several weeks ago there appeared a photograph of the Lin- 
coln funeral tram on the Illinois Central at Chicago, and tins 
with the accompanying paragraph, leads me to reply 

Relative to the locomotive Nashville; in Bulletin No 16 
issued by this society, is an article covering briefly the histo y 
ot the present Bag hour System. An illustration appears of 
he locomot.ve Nashvdle draped and ornamented for ?he pur- 
pose of hauling the tram from Cleveland westward Tins 
locomotive was owned by the Cleveland, Columbus & Cine 

>n i"S T, bU,lt f ^ thC Cuyah ° ga VVorks > ClevdSS, 
in June, 1852, and so far as the records show ua< 

Z ™ -7.°, r . r , Un . " any other road th an the C. C.'& C. or ib. 



■n.june, 18,2, and so far as the records show ' w ., , 
°«-ned by or run on any other road than the C. C '& C ( lu 
roads ot winch it became a part. It is absolutely safe to a 
that this locomotive never saw the N. C. & St L or any of 
its predecessors. Locomotive nomenclature in those cays wa 
not confined to the locality of the road. Just how far the 

Nashv.lle' hauled the train, I do not know Jt s no at al 
unhkely that at Gabon, Ohio, a locomotive f ron the B die 

ontame Ratlway Company carried it to Indianapolis or at 
Last over one ot the divisions. 1 doubt verv much L 
peopL state, that the "Nashville" ran ^S ^VlnSZ 

w-fh ti:iv rew h that hai ^^t£°ssE 
::td ttttr obtamabk '' would make ; « 

Presid^u, Rail wa y arld Locomotive ^lLfs!SX. 

KSW YOKK CITY RAILWAY AGS 

WLX 26, 1950 



Engineer Recalls Sombre Trip 
Of the Funeral Train of Lincoln 



Wrightson Is Believed to 

Be Last Surviving 

Pilot 



REDLANDS, Cal., Feb. 12 (A. P.)— 
Shrouded in black bunting and draped 
with American flags, a sable train rolled 
slowly over the New York Central 
tracks from New York to Utica between 
lines of silent, grieving people. 

One of the cars carried the body of a 
slain President, Abraham Lincoln. 

In the engine cab ol the funeral 
train, slowly tolling tm bell as the 



miles passed, sat George W. Wrightson, 
who now believes he is last of six en- 
gineers, picked for ability, who piloted 
the train from Washington to Spring- 
field. 

At each switch, Wrightson peered 
acutlously from his cab. Each switch 
had been spiked, to prevent tampering 
until the train had passed. The cortege 
was given right of way over all other 
traffic. 

"When we reached the depot at Syra- 
cuse, the train was greeted by the most 
impressive demonstration I have ever 
seen," Wrightson recalls. 

"The trainshed was covered with the 
national colors and black festoons. An 
immense, silent throng waited hours 
to glimpse the cortege." 

There were five cars in the train, 



carrying members of the Lincoln fam- 
ily, Government officials, the casket 
and newspaper men. They were the 
first Pullmans to run on a New York 
Central track. 

The front of the engine bore a por- 
trait of the martyred President. At 
sight of the picture and the draped 
locomotive, throngs along the track 
drew back. Some waved 6mall flags. 
Others wept openly. When the train 
had passed they stepped to the track 
and watched it fade into the distance. 

Wrightson, eighty-eight, la nearly 

blind and retired from railroading after 

I fifty-three years' service. >\Y ujvdii i -,M' 



PILOT RECALLS SOMBER RUN 

OF LINCOLN'S FUNERAL TRAIN 




George W. Wrightson (right) believes he is the last of engineers who 
piloted Lincoln's funeral train over the route shown in map. Lincoln is 
shown as he appeared when president. 



REDLANDS, Cal. — (A.P.) — 
Shrouded in black bunting and 
draped 'with American flags, a sable 
train rolled slowly over the New 
York Central tracks from New York 
to Utica between lines of silent, 
grieving people. 

One of the cars carried the. body 
of a slain President, Abraham Lin- 
coln. 

In the engine cab of the funeral 
train, slowly tolling the bell as the 
miles passed, sat George W. Wright- 
son, who now believes he is last of 
six engineers, picked for ability, who 
piloted the train from Washington 
to Springfield. 

At each switch, Wrightson peered 
cautiously from his cab. Each 
switch had been spiked, to prevent I 
tampering until the train had 
passed. The cortege was given 
right-of-way over all other traffic. 

"When we reached the depot at 
Syracuse, the train was greeted by 



the most impressive demonstration 
I have ever seen," Wrightson re- 
calls. 

"The train shed was covered with 
the National colors and black fes- 
toons. An immense, silent, throng 
had waited hours to glimpse the 
cortege." 

There were five cars in the train, 
carrying members of the Lincoln 
family, Government officials, the 
casket and newspapermen. They 
were the first Pullmans to run on a 
New York Central track. 

Tlie front of the engine bore a 
portrait of the martyred President. 
At sight of the picture and the 
draped locomotive, throngs along 
the track drew back. Some waved 
small flags. Others wept openly. 
When the train had passed they 
stepped to the track and watched 
it fade into the distance. 

Wrightson, SS, is nearly blind 
and retired from railroading after 
53 years service. 



ENGINEER RECALLS LINCOLN RITES | 




On 96th Birthday, Railroader 

Tells Piloting Train 

of Mourners 



As he celebrated his 96th birthday 
today, George E. Buck, veteran rail- 
road man of Santa Monica, told how 
he was the one-man crew of a 
special train bearing mourners 
from Decatur, 111, to the funeral 
of Abraham Lincoln, martyred 
president of the United States, at 
Springfield, 111, just after the close 
of the Civil war. 

"I was running a work train back 
in the 60's for the Toledo. Wabash 
and Western railroad," he said. 'The 
order came through to make up a 
three-car special train for the 
mourners. It seemed like everybody 
wanted to go. I took the tickets, 
fired the engine and then drove 
the train to Springfield. 

"Buck" ran away from home to 
work on a railroad when he was 
12 years old. He retired 58 years 
later. He claims to be the oldest 
living Master Mason in the United 
States. He was made a master mas- 
on in Summit City lodge, Fort 
Wayne, Ind, on May 6, 1859, but 
now is a member, of Sunrise lodge 
in ho» Angele*, » 




George E 



appears 



J today celebrating hi» 96th birth- 

daj ■ _. - — 



HE DRAPED LINCOLN'S FUNERAL ENGINE 




Martin Fetter 



THE drap- 
ing of a 
locomotive 
which hauled 
President Lin- 
coln's funeral 
train, says 
Martin Fetter, 
stands out in 
bold relief in 
his memories of 
51 years of 
railroading. 
Fetter, now 82, 
told of the in- 
cident at his 
home, 1712 
East Ninth 
Street, Cleve- 
land, Ohio. 

" I was a lad then, not more than fifteen," he 
began. " When I reported for work on April 
17, 1865, I was surprised to find Engine No. 40, 
the ' Dispatch,' standing on a siding with a large 
crowd around her. I was gaping at the crowd 
when the boss came over and said : ' That engine's 
going to pull President Lincoln's funeral train out 
of Cleveland and Fd like you to help trim her.' 
" Grabbing some waste, I started by shining 
up the brass around the cab. For a time I worked 
alone. Then the engineer, Bill Simmons, and 
the fireman, Joe Denslow, came over with the 
boss's daughter, Lavina Hamm. They had white 
and black bunting and a large portrait of Lincoln 
in a gilt frame. I assisted Bill in putting up 
the picture right out in front of the engine, then 
we fastened several yards of bunting around it. 
Joe and Lavina draped the sides. Before they 
got through, I climbed on top and muffled the bell. 



" All in all, it was a pretty job. Between the 
folds of hunting you could see the blue enameled 
sides, and there was a gold stripe showing above. 
After that I hurried up to the square where Abe 
Lincoln had been lying in state. I wanted lo 
get a last look at him. But I was too late. They'd 
taken him away." 

By a strange coincidence, Fetter also helped to 
drape the engine of President Garfield's funeral 
train in VVellsville, Ohio, sixteen years later. In 
1015 he retired from the Pennsylvania Railroad 
after 51 years of continuous service. Starting 
work in a roundhouse in the fall of 1864, he be- 
became a fireman in July, 1865, and an engine- 
man in March, 187 1. All of his runs were over 
the Cleveland & Pittsburgh division. 

Probably the only " rail " now living who knew 
and conversed with Abraham Lincoln is C. N. 
Coursey, of Mt. Carmel, 111., a retired Big Four 
engineer. 

Ben E. Chapin, editor of The Railroad Em- 
ployee, who interviewed Brother Coursey a short 
time ago, reports that he is still " rugged and 
well preserved, despite the toll exacted by the 
passing years." 

Coursey began his railroad career as a passen- 
ger brakeman on the B. & O, July 10, 1862, 
before he became fifteen years old. He recalls 
the fact that it was President Lincoln's custom 
to shake hands with the engine and train crew. 
On one occasion the conductor asked Mr. Lin- 
coln : 

" Why do you bother shaking hands with the 
engineer and fireman, whose hands are always 
covered with soot and grease?" 

The President's reply was: 

" That will all wash off, but I always want to 
see and know the men I am riding behind." 

That's the kind of fellow Lincoln was. 



DRAPED ENGINE 
OF DEATH TRAIN 



Martin Fetter, 82, Helped to Dec- 
orate Locomotive Which Drew 
Lincoln's Funeral Oar. 



The draping of a locomotive which 
hauled President Lincoln's funeral 
train, says Martin Fetter, stands out 
in bold relief in his memories of 51 
years of railroading. Fetter, now 82, 
told of the incident at his home, 1712 
East Ninth St., Cleveland, Ohio. 

"I was a lad then, not more than 15," 
he began. "When I reported for work 
on April 17, 1865, I was surprised to 
flnd Engine No. 40, the 'Dispatch," 
standing on a siding with a large 
crowd around her. I was gaping at the 
crowd when the boss came over and 
1 said : 'That engine's going to pull 
1 President Lincoln's funeral train out 
of Cleveland and I'd like you to help 
trim her.' 

"Grabbing some waste, I started by 
shining up the brass around the cab. 
For a time I worked alone. Then the 
engineer, Bill Simmons, and the fire- 
man, Joe^Denslow, came over with the 
boss's daughter, Lavina Hamm. They 
had white and black bunting and a 
large portrait of Lincoln in a gilt 
frame. I assisted Bill in putting up 
the picture right out in front of the 
engine, then we fastened several yards 
of bunting around it. Joe and Lavina 
draped the sides. Before they got thru. 
I climbed on top and muffled the bell. 

"All in all, it was a good job. Be- 
tween the folds of bunting you could 
see the blue enameled sides, and there 
was a gold stripe showing above. After 
that I hurried up to the square where 
Abe Lincoln had been lying in state. I 
wanted to get a last look at him. But 
I was too late. They'd taken him 
away." 

By a strange comcidence, Fetter also 
helped to drape the engine of Presi- 
dent Garfield's funeral train in Wells- 
ville, Ohio, 16 years later. In 1915 he 
retired from the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road after 51 years of continuous serv- 
ice. Starting work in a roundhouse in 
the Fall of 1864, he became a fireman 
in July, 1865, and an engineman in 
March, 1871. All of his runs were over 
the Cleveland & Pittsburgh division. 

Probably the only railroad worker 
now living who knew and conversed 
with Abraham Lincoln is C. N. Cour- 
sey, of Mt. Carmel, 111., a retired Big 
Four engineer. 

Coursey began his railroad career as 
a passenger brakeman on the B. & O., 
July 10, 1862, before he became 15 
years old. He recalls the fact that it I 
was President Lincoln's custom to' 
shake ha.nds with the engine and train | 
crew. On one occasion the conductor ' 
asked Mr. Lincoln: i 

"Why do you bother shaking hands ! 
with the engineer and fireman, whose 
hands are always covered with soot 
and grease?" 

The President's reply was: 

"That will all wash off, but I always 
want to see and know the men I am 
riding behind." 



{•in 






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CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12, 1936 



Running the Locomotive of Lincoln's Train 



A HIS 

BY S. J. KELLY. 

Engineer Ernest A. Mebus looked 
down from his cab window of the 
"Sam Hill," the historic engine that 
drew Lincoln into Cleveland on his 
visit in 1861. Mebus said : 

"You say you can run her? Get 
up here and let's see you do it." 

So I climbed into the cab. 

But let me describe the Sam Hill 
as I stood beside her in the yard 
of the "Parade of the Years." She is 
a glittering locomotive: flaring wood- 
burning stack, with a little fancy 
crown around the top, brass covered 
cylinders; brass-capped steam and 
sand domes; shining high whistle; 
real pointed cow-catcher and pol- 
ished wood cab. She rolls through 
the gate at the left of the parade 
drawing the historic train. She is 
the eight-wheeled type, four drivers, 
four-wheeled "pony truck," connect- 
ing rods and burnished pin caps, 
that handsome old type of passen- 
ger engine of our boyhood days. She 
was built in 1S60. 

"Wait till I get you a coat and 
cap." 

Orders. 

Engineer Mebus swung down the 
steps leaving me alone. I took oc- 
casion to look things over. There 
was no need for extra clothes. 
Everything in the cab was clean as 
a parlor car. The boiler was sheathed 
with smooth steel. Around the 
edges ran brass mouldings. A shin- 
ing brass water gauge and three 
brass water gauge-cocks sianted 
across the boiler. Straight ahead of 
the engineer's seat was the whistle 
lever. Above the bell cord ran 
through pulleys above the fireman's 
seat and through an eye-hole at the 
front of the cab. Two great rods 
riveted to the boiler reached to the 
frame below the floor. 

Then the reverse lever, that big 
upright lever at the side ! A heavy 
sector to guide it, with notches, 
arches up from the floor before the 
engineer's seat. You grasp the lever 
at the top, a spring clasp pulls the 
ratchet out, and you throw it for- 
ward if you're "going ahead" or 
backward if you're going to "back 
up." 

Engineer Mebus climbed up again. 
Jacket and coat were soon on. He 
said: "Now, you say you can run 



rORIC MEMORY OF OLD CLEVEI 

this engine. What's the next thing 
to do?" 

I looked at the steam gauge. It 
registered twenty pounds. A brass 
plate on the boiler said it took 1-5 
pounds to run the engine. We had 
a half hour before the act. 

"Well, I think we had better get 
steam up," I answered. 

Firing Up. 

He laughed, opened the fire door, 
stirred up the fire, threw in wood, 
and I noticed he threw in a pretty 
good lump of coal. He opened the 
dampers by pulling notched levers 
that came up through the floor, 
turned the valve of the forced draft, 
a steam pipe that leads to the smoke 
stack, and soon the tire roared. 

"Next we will oil the steam 
valves." 

He took one of the burnished oil 
cans from its shelf on the boiler and 
we swung down and went forward. 
He unscrewed the fancy old grease 
cups from the steam chests and 
poured in the oil. 1 glanced along 
that fine old engine with her brass 
hand rails, and driving wheel 
guards, and looked up from her neat- 
ly striped cow-catcher to her impos- 
ing headlight before the stack. There 
you can faintly see the name "Presi- 
dent." 

Henry Ford was bound to find the 
engine that brought Lincoln to this 
city on that memorable day. Way 
down on the Sattilo River in Georgia 
they found her puffing around a lum- 
ber yard. The lumber yard had 
named her the Sattilo. Then in 192U 
Engineer Mebus had proudly driven 



.AND. 

her into Detroit. He has been work- 
ing for Henry Ford ever since. 

The President was a wreck. They 
rebuilt her, polished her up, rebuilt 
her cab, placed walnut base boards 
around her tender, let the name of 
her last owner remain on the tender, 
the Atlantic & Gulf R. R. 

We were up in the cab again. The 
steam was up to 125 pounds. I took 
the engineer's seat and "threw her 
over," way down to the last notch. 
I got the signal and gently pulled 
the throttle. Slowly and sedately 
we lolled out on the stage of the 
"Parade of the Years" drawing Lin- 
coln's train. 

Everything is vividly true to life 
in that great show. Lincoln descends 
from his car with his shawl over 
his shoulders as he did that drizzly 
morning of Feb. 15. He stoops 
slightly, but with his tall plug hat 
he towers over the reception com- 
mittee. His face is serious and 
thoughtful. The Cleveland Grays 
are there. Mrs. Lincoln enters the 
carriage, the president follows and 
they start on that long slow drive 
down Euclid Avenue from E. 55th 
Street. 

Then I threw that big lever over 
again, backward, though I had to 
brace against the rods of the boiler, 
pulled her throttle and with bell 
ringing we slowly rolled back again, 
pushing Lincoln's funeral car be- 
fore us. 

We ran down to the gate and 1 
brought her to a stop. The Sam 
Hill and the draped car ahead rocked 
slightly when taking the switches. 





REAL ESTATE ■ MORTGAGE LOANS ■ FIRE INSURANCE 

Sffis 915 FIFTH AVE. PHONE 2836l 

HUNTINGTON, W.VA. 



April 4, 1944 



Mr« Louis A. Warren, Director 
Lincoln National Life Foundation 
Fort Wayne, Indiana 

Dear Mr. Warren; 

I have a letter from my 
cousin, Mr. George H. Pancake, and he tells me that 
he has had some correspondence with you regarding 
sending you some pictures of a train on which Abraham 
Lincoln once road He is under the impression that 
you have him mixed up with me as you mentioned having 
met him at one time* 

He sent me two pictures 
to mail on to you, which I am enclosing, herewith. 

With kindest personal, 
hoping that you will stop in to see us every time 
that you are in our city. ^ -_ 



fours very tVul 




3 aul 
president 



PCP:el 

cc/Mr. George H. Pancake 



April 7, 19H 

Mr. Paul C. Pancake, President 
Pancake Ilealty Company 
915 Fifth Ate. 
Huntington, V. Va. 

My dear Mr. Pancake: 

Thank 70a very much for forwarding the pictures of 
the old engine which pulled the Lincoln funeral train and we 
are pleased Indeed to have them. 

Begret having confused you with your cousin and poseihly 
on my next visit to Huntington I will have an opportunity to 
aeethoth of yon. 

Very truly yours, 
LAWjVM Director 













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Bulletin of the Lincoln National Life Foundation ----- Dr. Louis A. Warren, Editor 
Published each week by The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, Indiana 



Number 895 



FORT WAYNE, INDIANA 



June 3, 1946 



PILOTING THE LINCOLN FUNERAL TRAIN 



Many boys of twenty-five years ago or more, who lived 
in small towns, remember the Memorial Day parades 
which gave them the opportunity to march in the pro- 
cession with the tottering members of the G.A.R. As an 
aftermath of Decoration Day, as it then was called, it 
would seem timely this year, to compile some facts re- 
lating to the first American memorial procession — the 
funeral train of Abraham Lincoln which passed from the 
Potomac River to the Prairies. 

Possibly the most controversial subject relating to the 
famous train is the identity of the engineers who piloted 
it and the names of the engines used to draw the funeral 
coaches from one metropolis to another. There are some 
traditions extant holding that but one engine was used 
for the entire trip. Charles E. Fisher in 1930, then the 
President of the Railway and Locomotive Historical So- 
ciety, made this suggestion, "A list of the roads, the loco- 
motives, and the train crews that handled this historic 
train, together with such photographs as are obtainable, 
would make a valuable record for railroad history." 

This monograph is an attempt to compile such data 
as may help to some day achieve this end. Although 
limited space will make it necessary to confine the infor- 
mation to the names of the railroads operating the trains, 
the names of the engineers and the numbers or names of 
the locomotives including the pilot engine, under their 
charge. 

WASHINGTON TO BALTIMORE 
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad over whose lines the 
funeral train first moved has claimed that its famous 
engine "Number 23" later called the "William Mason," 
headed the funeral train from Washington to Baltimore. 
This engine is the same one which brought Lincoln into 
Washington from Baltimore in 1861 and also was used 
for part of the Gettysburg trip in 1863. A contemporary 
news item states, however, that engine "Number 238" 
drew the train and that it was a new locomotive made 
at the Mount Clare works. Thomas Beckett was the engi- 
neer. "Number 239," the pilot locomotive, was draped in 
mourning and William Galloway was the engineer. 

BALTIMORE TO HARRISBURG 
The conductor on the funeral train traveling over the 
Northern Central Railroad from Baltimore to Harrisburg 
was William Henry Harrison Gould, but in his remi- 
niscences preserved in 1915 he could not recall the name 
of the engineer of his train or the engineer of the pilot 
engine. 

HARRISBURG TO PHILADELPHIA 
The Pennsylvania Railroad took charge of the train 
at Harrisburg using engine "Number 331" with engineer 
John E. Miller as pilot. 

PHILADELPHIA TO JERSEY CITY AND NEW YORK 
The Camden and Amboy Railroad was utilized to move 
the funeral train from Philadelphia to Jersey City. Upon 
arriving there, the funeral car was taken on the ferry 
boat "New York" to New York City. 

NEW YORK TO ALBANY 
One of the most picturesque parts of the itinerary was 
the trip over the Hudson River Railroad as far as Albany. 
The pilot engine used was the "Constitution" and the 
engine pulling the train was the "Union," with George 
W. Wrightson as engineer of the latter. 

ALBANY TO BUFFALO 

The New York Central Railroad was used to convey 
the remains from Albany to Buffalo. One of the largest 
engines on the road, the "Dean Richmond," pulled the 
funeral train. 



BUFFALO TO ERIE 

The funeral train left Buffalo over the Lake Shore 
Railroad, but the Erie and North East Railroad was oper- 
ating at this time the different roads between Buffalo 
and Erie. 

ERIE TO CLEVELAND 

The train from Erie to Cleveland over the Cleveland, 
Painsville and Ashtabula R.R. used the same personnel as 
far as possible that had previously manned the train 
carrying Mr. Lincoln East in 1861. The same engine, the 
"William Case" was also used, and John Benjamine was 
the engineer. The "Idaho" served as the pilot engine with 
J. W. McGuire in charge. 

CLEVELAND 

Martin Fetter who helped to decorate engine "Num- 
ber 40" also known as the "Dispatch" claimed it took the 
train out of Cleveland but it was probably used as a 
switch engine to move the train as the account states: 
"The locomotive of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Rail- 
road, tastefully decorated, took the train in its reverse 
position and drew it to the Euclid Street Station. The 
engineer was Bill Simmons. 

CLEVELAND TO COLUMBUS 

While it is claimed by some authorities that "The 
Nashville" took the train from Washington to Spring- 
field it did have its share in the task of hauling the 
coaches. The engine was built at the Cuyahoga Works 
in Cleveland in 1852 and was operated by the Cleveland, 
Columbus and Cincinnati R.R. over whose tracks the 
funeral train moved. The engineer in charge of "The 
Nashville" was George West and it was preceded by 
the pilot engine "Louisville" with E. Van Camp at the 
throttle. 

COLUMBUS TO INDIANAPOLIS 

In the comment by Mr. Fisher who doubted if "The 
Nashville" ran all the way to Indianapolis this supposi- 
tion has been verified in the discovery of a contemporary 
news notation which states that the funeral train left 
over the Columbus and Indianapolis Central Railroad 
with Mr. James Gourley as engineer but the name of the 
engine and pilot engine and its operator are not given. 
INDIANAPOLIS TO LAFAYETTE 

While we are under obligation to a reporter of the 
Indianapolis Journal for much information about the 
funeral train from the time it left Indianapolis until it 
reached Springfield he fails to make known certain facts 
we would like to know about the Indianapolis-Lafayette 
segment of the trip which was evidently made over the 
Lafayette and Indianapolis Railroad. 

LAFAYETTE TO MICHIGAN CITY 

Our reporter for the Journal states in his dispatch 
dated May 1, Lafayette, Ind., 3:35 A.M.: "The steam 
engine 'Persian' handsomely decorated now bears us on 
under the charge of a cautious and experienced engineer 
Mr. A. Rupert. Mr. Rhodes is engineer in charge of the 
pilot engine 'Rocket.' The road traveled was the Louis- 
ville, New Albany and Chicago Railroad." 
MICHIGAN CITY TO CHICAGO 

The same reporter in a notation dated May 1, Michigan 
City, 8:30 AM. states "The engine 'Ranger' . . . and 
the pilot engine 'Frank Valkenberg' are ready for our 
accommodation." These engines conveyed the party over 
the Michigan Central lines into Chicago. 
CHICAGO TO SPRINGFIELD 

The depot of the Chicago, Alton and St. Louis Railroad 
was profusely decorated and over its line the last journey 
of the lamented President was to be taken. Henry Russell, 
engineer of the pilot engine "Number 40" was the first 
to leave the station followed in ten minutes by engine 
"Number 58" with engineer James Colting at the controls. 



The Record 
1975 



Vol. 36 



Friends of the Library 
Washington State University 



Pullman, Washington 99163 



1975 



the canceled trains and salaries of idled employees, the loss business- 
wise was estimated to be at least an additional $20,000. After the war 
was ended, the government paid in full for the physical damage. 

Morgan did not tarry at Salem because Union forces were known to be 
on the way. One contingent, made up of men from Lafayette and nearby 
counties, were ordered to move southward over the LNA^C. On reaching 
Bloomington the train halted, no one knowing if the track south was still 
intact, nor did anyone know the whereabouts of the Confederate force. 
The soldiers left the train and scattered over the town. They were told 
the engineer would blow the whistle as a signal to bring them back in 
time for departure. But the soldiers apparently were not content with 
this assurance, and when they were recalled it was discovered that all 
coupling pins had been withdrawn and hidden. After these were retrieved, 
the train got under way and proceeded slowly, with scouts ahead on hand- 
cars. When the train reached Orleans, the citizens spread a generous 
feed and the band played on. What then happened is not recorded but it 
seems probable that this contingent became a part of the other forces 
mustered to pursue Morgan eastward. 

Certain it is that the Confederate leader moved on, crossing the 
Jeffersonville Railroad at Vienna in Scott County, burning bridges and 
indicting much other damage. At Vernon and Dupont in Jennings and Jeff- 
erson counties, there was great damage to the Madison § Indianapolis Rail- 
road. The Ohio £j Mississippi Railroad suffered extensive damage as the 
raiders moved toward Ohio. There at Libson, the war's farthest northern 
Confederate penetration, the force was scattered and Morgan was captured 
July 26, only to escape November 27, return to the South and continue 
his military service before being killed in a gooseberry patch, clothed 
in his nightshirt, nigh a year later at the age of thirty-nine on Septem- 
ber 4, 1864 at Greenville, Tennessee, the home of Andrew Johnson, soon to 
become the seventeenth President of the United States. 

Then, almost eight months later to the day, came the surrender at 
Appomattox Court House April 9, 1S65 and the horrible war was ended. But 
an event that became a great tragedy lurked in the hearts of a band of re- 
vengeful evil conspirators. John Wilkes Booth fatally wounded President 
Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre April 14, and Lincoln died the next day. 

After lying in state in the Capitol, funeral services were conducted 
in the White House and Lincoln was then taken home. 

Preceded by a pilot locomotive with traveling engineer and fireman 
and a caboose with a supporting traveling crew, the Lincoln exequial train 
of nine immaculate new cars left Washington at 8:00 A.M., April 21. The 
locomotive and all cars were draped in mourning throughout the journey to 
Springfield. The train stopped at Baltimore, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, 
New York, Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, and Chicago. 



(55) 



This 2, 000-mile journey took twelve days. At each of the scheduled stops, 
the body lay in state and thousands passed the open casket, paying respect 
to their deceased leader. Along the line, solemn and weeping people 
were at every town, village, whistle and flag stops, and wooding and water 
stations. In the countryside, grieving people stood beside the track bidd- 
ing farewell to the train that disappeared in the distance. 

The day before arrival at Indianapolis, the body lay in the rotunda 
of the Capitol at Columbus. The train departed that place at 8:00 P.M., 
on what was then the Columbus q Indianapolis Central Railway - later the 
Pennsylvania. Arrival in Indianapolis was at 7 o'clock the next morn- 
ing, Sunday April 30, and the casket was taken reverently to the State 
House and there placed on a noble catafalque. Indiana had been Lincoln's 
home from the time he was seven until approaching his twenty- first birth- 
day. He had always received strong Hoosier political support and when 
in the state enroute to or from Washington was given much ovation. Now 
the expressed affection and respect was more pronounced than ever. Rain 
that fell continuously did not deter a multitude from turning out en 
masse. Present was a Kentucky delegation headed by Governor Thomas E. 
Bramlette. Shortly before midnight the body was taken to the Union Depot 
and entrained for Chicago. 

Governor Oliver Hazard Perry Throck Morton and his suite, and a 
group of dignitaries, had met the funeral train at Richmond and remained 
aboard as far as Michigan City. 

Although this sad trek has been described in detail in many accounts 
of Lincolniana, the railroad operational facets have been overlooked or 
ignored. In the case of the Monon, extant records document the honored 
role of the railroad between Lafayette and Michigan City - another Civil 
War chapter in its history. 

The funeral train left the Union Depot at Midnight over the Lafayette 
§ Indianapolis Railroad, was transferred to the Monon track at Lafayette 
Junction, and arrived at Lafayette at 5:45 A.M., May 1. Even at this 
early hour a large crowd had gathered at the station and a hundred or so 
lined the street down which the track ran. The train moved by slowly, 
the whole scene dimly lit by bonfires kindled at intervals. It arrived 
at Michigan City at 8:55 A.M., where a brief stop was made with the fun- 
eral car spotted under a draped memorial arch ...that had been erected for 
the occasion. 

The good women of the city served a hot breakfast of corn- fed ham, 
bacon, eggs, fried potatoes, gravy, biscuits, and berry pie. There 
was milk, coffee, English and sassafras tea. Tables were spread for 
four hundred people, including a delegation from Chicago. 



(56) 



After this traditional Hoosier hospitality, the train proceeded on 
its way, reaching Chicago at 11 o'clock over the tracks of the Michigan 
Central and Illinois Central railroads from whence, after two days, it 
would go to Springfield over the Chicago £ Alton Railroad. 

From Lafayette, the train traveled slowly - 25 miles per hour. The 
published timetable and special regulations for this carriage were issued 
by the Director and Manager of Military Railroads, Brevet Brig. Gen. D.C. 
McCallum. The train departed each station ten minutes behind the pilot. 
It passed through towns with tolling bell at a speed not exceeding five 
miles an hour. Telegraph offices were kept open during the entire passage; 
when a station was cleared the operator at once gave notice to the next 
station up the line. The pilot was not permitted to pass any station 
without first getting information of the funeral train having passed 
the last station, coming to a full stop if necessary. 

An attended signal was shown at every switch and bridge, and at the 
entrance upon every curve. Each attendant personally had to know that 
all was safe. The track signal from Lafayette until broad daylight was 
a white light and from that time to Michigan City, a draped white flag. 
During darkness the pilot carried red markers and a draped American flag 
during daylight. Both the pilot and funeral train had absolute right to 
the line during this passage; opposing trains were sided. 

Eighteen sixty-five was an important year in the life of the LNA^C. 
A new era began - an era of successful expansion, development, and refine- 
ment that also was at once an era of trial and trouble. 




Lincoln funeral train attracted crowds 

Even in the middle of the night, mourners gathered with lamps and bonfires 

By Bob Kriebel, For the Journal and Courier 

A 50-year-old historian from Ohio has written a heck of a book that will 
interest many Lafayette-area students of railroads, Abraham Lincoln or the 
Civil War. The author is Scott Trostel, and his illustrated volume is The 
Lincoln Funeral Train . 

"This book," he says, "takes a close-up look at the human side along the 
route as well as the route itself, the railroad cars, locomotives, trains 
and the tremendous logistics required to make the 1,700-mile journey from 
Washington D.C., to Springfield, 111." 

The entourage left Washington on April 21 and reached Springfield on May 3. 
It went from Indianapolis to Chicago on May 1, 1865, and rolled through 
Lafayette about 3:30 a.m. 

The Lafayette Courier gave the dead-of -night event but a few short 
sentences : 

"The funeral train passed through this city on time this morning. 
Notwithstanding the positive announcement that it would stop a moment, there 
was large crowd at Market space and along Fifth Street. 

"Traveling at five miles per hour the train passed through to the tolling of 
church bells. [A local military band] played a funeral dirge. ... Men stood 
uncovered and in respectful silence. Many were effected to tears." 

Logistics 

One needs to keep in mind how, in Civil War times, trains were crude and 
undependable, lacking constant communication and safety devices. The steam 
locomotives used wood for fuel and made frequent water stops. Rails were of 
iron and subject to rapid wear. 

Several trains made up the Lincoln funeral cortege. At times as many as four 
moved in unison on separate legs of the journey. The telegraph was the most 
advanced form of communication. The speed of trains averaged 2 mph . 

In most instances there were two trains for Lincoln. The first, towed by a 
"pilot engine, " essentially ran interference for the actual train bearing 
the remains of Lincoln and of his son William or "Willie" (1850-1862) . The 
latter's grave in Washington, D.C., had been reopened and the casket placed 
on the train so that father and son could be buried together in Springfield. 

The funeral train proper consisted of a locomotive and tender followed by 
eight to 10 cars, with the specially built 42 -foot car "United States" 
always at the end containing a stove, armed guards and the two caskets. 

In The Lincoln Funeral Train, Trostel lists about 20 different pilot engines 
and another 20 funeral train locomotives having been put to use as the 
entourage moved from one railroad company's jurisdiction to the next across 
Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, 13 counties in Indiana 
and seven in Illinois. 



Through Indiana 

It's a well planned, well organized book; and with its subject matter 
contains a general appeal to anyone living along the route of the funeral 
train. It entered Indiana at about 3 a.m. on April 3 and reached 
Indianapolis at 7 a.m. Most of that day was devoted to ceremonies, including 
placement of the casket for public visitation in the Indiana Statehouse. 
Heavy rain forced cancellation of a number of outdoor events . 

The pilot engine then left Indianapolis at 11:50 p.m. on April 30. The plan 
called for it to reach Augusta at 12:30 a.m. on May 1, Zionsville at 12:47, 
Whitestown at 1:07, Lebanon at 1:30, Hazelrigg at 1:55, Thorntown at 2:10, 
Colfax at 2:25, Clarks Hill at 2:40, Stockwell at 2:50, Culver's Station at 
3, Lafayette at 3:35, Battle Ground at 3:55, Brookston at 4:15, Chalmers at 
4:25, Reynolds at 4:45, Bradford (Monon) at 5:08, Francesville at 5:35, 
Medaryville at 5:50, San Pierre at 6:15, Wanatah at 7 a.m. and on to Park 
Place Station in Chicago at 10:50 a.m. on May 1. 

This segment of the trip was complicated because three railroad companies 
were involved. Trostel notes: 

"Train times were among the first problem to be worked out. In 1865 there 
was no such thing as standard time zones . Each railroad selected its own 
local time, the real problem being that even though two railroads might 
operate into the same town, their published times could vary to 20 minutes 
even with trains pulling into adjacent tracks at the same instant. ... To 
each railroad fell the duty of decorating their own locomotives and 
selecting crewmen." 

For the 64 miles between Indianapolis and Lafayette, the Lafayette & 
Indianapolis, presided over by Lafayette businessman William F. Reynolds, 
chose the locomotive "Boone" and engineer Thomas Collen for the pilot train, 
the locomotive "Stockwell" and engineer Charles Lamb for the funeral train. 

At Lebanon at 1:30 a.m., according to newspaper accounts, "Both town and 
country were gathered to honor the dead. Lamps, torches and bonfires sent 
their brilliant light about the assemblage. Drooped flags were dressed in 
mourning. A beautiful arch of evergreens and roses was erected under which 
the cars passed." 

Further up the tracks at Hazelrigg and Thorntown "people were standing at 
the depot and along the margins of the track. Bonfires lit the night. ... At 
Clarks Hill a crowd assembled at the station, many carrying lanterns" 

Bonfires and lamps lit the scene, too, when the train passed through 
Stockwell and on to Culver Station and Lafayette. In Lafayette, where 
Lincoln's inauguration train had stopped in February 1861, the pilot and 
funeral train in 1865 switched to the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago 
locomotive "Rocket" and an engineer named Rhodes, and to the engine 
"Persian" and engineer A. Rupert. 

Trostel wrote that about 300 people awaited the train at Battle Ground and 
waved flags. The train rolled by Brookston and Chalmers as dawn began to 
break. Farm families from up to 20 miles distant viewed the train at 
Reynolds in early daylight. 

NEXT: Sesquicentennial opportunities in 2 003. 

Kriebel, retired editor of the Journal and Courier, may be contacted at 30 



Wildcat Bluffs Road, Lafayette, IN 47905-8449; telephone 589-8922; e-mail 
tejas30@aol . com 

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